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Mozilla Firefox Open Source IT

Mozilla Seeks New Home For Email Client Thunderbird 294

Reader chefmonkey writes: In a report commissioned by Mozilla to explore the next home for Thunderbird, two potential new hosts have been offered: the Software Freedom Conservancy (host to git, boost, QEMU, and a host of other projects) and The Document Foundation (home of LibreOffice). At the same time, the report discusses completely uncoupling Thunderbird from the rest of the Mozilla codebase and bringing in a dedicated technical architect to chart the software's roadmap.

Given that the two named organizations are already on board with taking Thunderbird under their wing, is this a new lease on life for the email program Mozilla put out to pasture four years ago?
In December last year, Mozilla Foundation chairperson Mitchell Baker had argued that the organization should disentangle itself from the Thunderbird email client in order to focus on Firefox. It appears the Firefox-maker is all set to part ways with Thunderbird.
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Mozilla Seeks New Home For Email Client Thunderbird

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  • by Hardhead_7 ( 987030 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @03:40PM (#51985229)
    I know there's a lot of Firefox-hate at the moment (with some good reason), but I use Firefox as my web-browser of choice on Android. Why? Adblock. No other mobile browser has add-ons like Firefox. And the ability to block ads really speeds up the browser compared to Chrome in any real-world situation.
    • Pale Moon

      It's Firefox before they buggered it up.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Or you can block ads at the OS level with something like AdFree and remove ads from all apps.
    • by aitan ( 948581 )
      You should test Brave.
      It has the adblock built in and it starts loading the pages as soon as click on the links, so you don't have to wait for redirections and all the stuff to be downloaded while you keep on reading other stuff
    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      Absolutely, I've been trying the various other browsers on Android and always return to Firefox because it shines.
      • The only reason I prefer Opera on Android over Firefox is that it lets you zoom a web page like Slashdot and it rewraps the text as it resizes it.

        Firefox for some reason binds the layout and resizing just pushes text outside the margins.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I prefer AdBlock for Android, because it blocks ads in all apps.

    • Adblock. No other mobile browser has add-ons like Firefox.

      Except for the Samsung adblock plugin for the default internet browser. You know the default browser of some 23% of all smartphones on the market, a market share which makes Firefox disappear in a rounding error.

  • But now I use SeaMonkey for eMail .
    It has the added advantage of being a browser as well
    Are they going to drop SeaMonkey too?

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @04:07PM (#51985423)

    I haven't used Thunderbird for a few years, but... it always seemed to me to be the best IMAP client out there - doubly so if you had more than one IMAP email account, which has been the case for me.

    But while Mozilla hasn't mucked up Thunderbird to the same degree they have Firefox, a couple years back I decided to cut ties with any and all Mozilla products because of all Mozilla's little political and philosophical dramas.

    • by Dekaner ( 72280 )

      Mind sharing what you switched to?

      • Mind sharing what you switched to?

        It may not be particularly helpful, but sure.

        Our campus moved to Google Apps a number of years ago, so for work I'd just been using the Gmail app on my phone and the Gmail web interface when I'm on my computer.

        For personal email, I've defaulted to using Apple's Mail app. I've recently started using this for my work email as well, because 1) there appears to be no way to add GPG to Gmail, and 2) while Gmail is better than other web mail apps, once you get past that you start to realize it's not very good com

        • 1) there appears to be no way to add GPG to Gmail,

          There are TWO ways!

          1. Use gmail via IMAP/POP3 with a proper desktop client with gpg support. Which is what people SHOULD be doing anyway. Claws-mail and Thunderbird with Enigmail can do this. You can also do this on phone/tablet with K9 mail and OpenKeychain/APG.

          2. Mailvelope add-on, if for some reason you use a web browser to read gmail

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Try out Sylpheed [].

        It's available for about any operating system. I first started using it when I was running NetBSD on the desktop. The code is packaged for any freenix out there, and there's also a Windows binary.

  • Good (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by gweihir ( 88907 )

    The Mozilla Foundation has screwed everything up the had in their clutches, except Thunderbird, possibly because they lacked the money to do a number on it too. If Thunderbird gets new maintainers that actually have a clue and are not just following the latest UI-hype or waste all their money on worthless gender-related projects, it has a bright future. Firefox is dead though, and the only reason for that is incompetence and mis-management by the Mozilla Foundation leadership. Talk about wrestling failure f

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2016 @12:32AM (#51987581)

      Keep in mind, The Foundation set up a whole sister company to Mozilla Corp., called Mozilla Messaging, to work on Thunderbird. They even got a nice office in Vancouver. But then David Asher, the Messaging CEO, and several other engineers just decided they'd rather work on something else. The decided to run a Lab, without telling the actual Mozilla Labs, until they released something.

      Moreover, until TBird was officially booted, the 4-5 employees who were really dedicated to TBird (like standard8), were at the mercy of the Browser engineers to fix Gecko bugs. Browser engineer are brilliant, but basically dicks. They ignored Thunderbird, and they also trash talked the Services group, when things like FF Sync were being developed.

      Then of course the Boot2Gecko project spawned out of nowhere with Andreas' post, and the new corporate heads decided to "streamline." They had hired a lot of business folk, including the new CEO, and they were all about handy-wavy visions and cohesive narratives encompassing everything Mozilla does. Tbird just didn't fit that narrative, despite its success and user base.

  • Thunderbird gives a sigh or relief from the lifeboat as it watches SS Firefox go down.

  • Maybe it will be an opportunity to have a well maintained Thunderbird, but if not, it's worrying for email. I don't want to replace email with Facebook/Whatsapp/orWhatnot.

    For now, there is Apple Mail which only runs on Macs,

    Outlook which only runs on Windows (and is a terrible IMAP client, probably to force you to get an Exchange server)

    And Gmail which only runs on... Google. And only if you have an Internet connection.

    I feel Thunderbird is essential, and hope it finds someone to take care of it.

  • by plazman30 ( 531348 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @06:35PM (#51986317) Homepage
    This might be a good fit.
  • The first emails were text-only. Then at some point email became a much more versatile communication tool, because we gained the ability to embed images. (When did that happen? I'm guessing about 24 years ago.)

    Now, we are long overdue for email clients that let you easily embed video. I'm not talking about
    - linking to a video file hosted on some third-party server, or
    - video file attachments, or
    - having to figure out usage of ungainly templates [],

    but the convenience of honest-to-goodness embedded videos: w

  • The lapse in Mozilla support for Thunderbird since 2012 has been frustrating and saddening to me. I've used Thunderbird (with its Lightning calendaring and Enigmail for OpenPGP/GnuPG, among other extensions) since just about its inception and I still do today. It has always been the only cross platform and open source, user focused/privacy respecting, newbie-to-guru accessible, full featured and extensible email/PIM client I've found.

    Unfortunately , I admit that its age has begun to show since Mozilla stopp

  • by SIGBUS ( 8236 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @10:10PM (#51987151) Homepage

    Seems like there's been an awful lot of hate exploding against the Mozilla folks lately, and it seems that a lot of it is politically motivated. Politics aside, there have certainly been missteps, but Firefox has worked well and I don't have much to complain about. I'm not especially happy about the recent bloat (I've never once used Pocket, for instance), but at least it has stayed out of my way.

    Well, what do I switch to, then, haters? Do you have a better solution? I need a browser that offers this:

    * A rich selection of add-ons (adblock and script controls are security features these days, and there are other useful extensions I use)
    * Cross-platform (I use Windows, Linux desktops, and Android)
    * Open source (even if I never have occasion to build or modify the browser, I want to be able to)
    * Address bar is separate from the search bar (when I type in an intranet URL, I don't want a search query going out, FFS)
    * Performs well enough for me (I've never seen the horrible performance that some people allege)

    If someone comes up with something significantly better and offers all of the above, I'd consider giving it a try, but for now I'll stick with Firefox.

    As for Thunderbird, I'm glad to see it being picked up... yes it works, but there are a few things that have long needed fixing (like the mystery progress bar on IMAP accounts).

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo